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Llanelly Liberal Association…

Fighting Their Battles O'er…

Record Week at Swansea.


Hospital Fete's Future.

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Summertide at Swansea.

Gower Breach of Promise Case.

Swansea Fruiterer Fined.

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SENGHENYDD HORROR. Baby Roasted on a Fire. Half-witted Grandmother's Terrible Deed. At the Glamorgan Assizes at Swansea on Tuesday (before Mr. Justice Kennedy and a jury), Margaret Evans (48)", charwoman, was arraigned for the wilful murder of Mabel Evans, on the 5th July, 1904, at Setighenydd. Prisoner was committed on both the magis- trates' and coroner's warrants, and the facts which were practically admitted, were of a. very painful character, in that the deceased, a baby of ten months' old, and grandchild of the accused, had been placed on the fire and burnt to death. Mr. Lleufer Thomas appeared for the Crown, and Mr. St. Johnu Francis Williams defended. Prisoner was attired in black, and when the indictment was read over to her she re- flected a moment and then shook her head. The charge was again put and this time the woman said in a quiet voice, "Not guilty." Mr. Lleufer Thomas said the question for the jury would be whether the prisoner, at the time of the tragedy, was in possession of her full senses. Immediately preceding the crime, Mrs. E\ans had been indulging in a drinking bout, but from the Sunday till the following Tuesday, when the offence was com- mitted, she was sober, while after the occur- rence she made expressions of regret to the police that indicated that she fully realised the nature and quality of the act she had committed. Mary Evans, wife of John Evans, of 95, Comrnercial-street, Senghenydd, the mother of the deceased, detailed the painful story. ioq1 ™0^ler""1_^aw> the prisoner, lived at No. 109 Ol the same street, and was housekeeper to a man named John Davies. On Monday night, July 4th, she slept at witness's house and on the following day stayed there. To-1 wards evening about seven o'clock, witness went out leaving Mabel, witness's little baby, f asleep in the cradle. Shortly after- wards her attention was called to something py her little boy, and she ran back to the house when she was horrified to find her mother-m-la v in the act of holding the baby over the fire. Mr. Lleufer Thomas: What kind of posi- tion was the prisoner in? W itness She was holding the baby under the armpits and standing in front of the fire. The Judge The baby was actually on the fire? 3 Witness Yes. Mr. Llenier Thomas I believe you caught hold of the baby, took it from her and ran out? Witness Yes; the baby died on the fol- lowing day. The Julge Was it very badly burnt? Witness Yes, sir. In cross-examination, witness said that prisoner -was in the habit of nursing the child and was very fond of it. Witness had no- ticed her mother in-law to be very strange. Mr. St. Jonn Francis Williams Was she in the habit of thinking that people and tnings were in the habit of whispering to h-er? Witness Yes. The Judge Was this very oiten? Witness: No, not -very often. Counsel for the defence put specific cases to the witness who stated that prisoner would put. her ear to the tea kettle as if she were receiving a message. "Then she would start UP ;"K1 I1"11? at me," added the witness. LJid she say anything? She would say that the tea kettle had given a message that I was bound to leave the house. Some birds that were in the house ?Jur!fWr\r ruId treat in the same way. What did she tell you the message was?— burned. She would say we would all have to be Clocks would also be listened to for mes. sages, and on the day in question, a few hours before the tragedy, her mother-in-law wanted witness to take a paper to some workmen in the roadway for them to sign. This was supposed to be a message from the birds that they were "all doomed to be burned." "When she was receiving these messages was she perfectly sober?" asked counsel. 'Perfectly sober," replied the witness, who went on to detail another incident when prisoner was almost nude in the garden of her house in broad daylight. She added that prisoner was also childish at times, and during the past twelve months much de- pressed- Re-examined: Prisoner never showed a tendency to injure herself or anybody else before Lie datp in question, and-was able lo undertake recently a long railway journey s!X. nded chapel "n'd s""<$ I. Sarah Richards, neighbour, deposed to the last witness being fetched bv her little boy and of after" arch seeing the burning baby. Ann Evans, another neighbour, related an incident tool: place on the morning in question when prisoner came to her house and undressed herself. Mrs. Evans then; told her that the water-tap had said, "Wei are all going to be burned to-day." During I the past 18 months witness had noticed pris- oner to be very strange in her manner. Mary Jones gave evidence of prisoner nursing the baby earlier on in the day in question and of subsequentlv walking with! her to the police-station. This was after the tragedy and Mrs. Evans, who looked wild about the eyes told her she did not know why she did it. Dr. James, Senghenydd, deposed to the in- juries to the babe, which were very severe to the lower limbs. The child was in a state of collapse and died on the following morn- ing without recovering consciousness. Pri- soner was present when witness was dressing the wounds, and, in/witness s opinion, seemed under the influence of alcohol. Cross-examined Prisoner did not seem to recognise that she had done anything un- usual, and admitted that she had done the act twice. P.C. Leyson Williams said that, when ar- rested, prisoner replied, "I took the baby from the cradle and it slipped on to the fire." i kept it c-n a little bit, and took it off the fire and put it back in the cradle. I again took it Dut of the cradle and put it on the fire a second time. I'm sorry for doing such a thing. Replying to the charge she added, "I have nothing to say only I have done it." The judge summed up in favour of the plea of insanity, reminding the jury that in the eye of the law it did not matter if ex- cessive drinking brought about the in- sanity so 6ng as the disease existed. His Lordship, however, pointed out that the woman was not thought to be so insane as not to be left in sole charge of the child, though at the same time people were often quite sane on all things but one, which one thing like a stream was capable of flooding the whole intelligence. The jury, practically at the judge's direc- tion, returned a verdict of guilty, but ex- pressed the opinion that the prisoner was in- sane at the time she did it. Prisoner was orderedto be kept in custody as a criminal lunatic till his Majesty's plea- sure be known.

Llanelly Sentence Needs RevisionI





Theatrical Artistes' Rough…

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